Last month saw us take the latest version of our SALSA (Spatial Automated Live Sports Audio) software to NAB 2016. This is the second show Rob Oldfield and I have done in collaboration with DTS and Fairlight; last September saw us at IBC in Amsterdam showing our automated sports audio solution working with the MDA open object-based audio format. April saw the new version of University of Salford’s SALSA software demonstrated.
Our new version goes a step further than automated mixing and can now augment the on-
pitch audio (e.g. ball kicks) with pre-produced content to enhance the mix still further using acoustic signatures derived from the detected sounds. Real-time post-production if you like.
Results so far sound impressive. It’s not the first time sports audio has been enhanced of course. Sound supervisors and sound designers like Dennis Baxter have been doing this for years. Watching horse racing? That sound you hear isn’t the sound of horses coming round the track, instead it might be a slowed down recording of a buffalo charge. Downhill skiing? Samples played into the mix live from a MIDI keyboard. It all adds to viewers’ engagement in the entertainment of sports broadcast. Some of this is essentially Foley for live sport, the big difference is we are now automating the process in real time. Audio augmented reality for live sport. Expect more updates as we continue to develop the work…